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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

And afterwards in their journey to Spain


These

were differences of the most thoroughgoing character, which had descended to Charles I with the crown itself from the earlier kings and from his father. The change of government, and certain previous occurrences caused these differences to come into greater prominence than ever; but they received their peculiar character from something in his personal relations which had also been transmitted from the father to the son.

Or rather, we may say, James I would certainly have been inclined to get rid of Buckingham as he had formerly got rid of Somerset: under Charles I this favourite occupied a still stronger position than he had held before.

Between the two men personally there was a great contrast. In the favourite there was nothing of the precision, calmness, and moral behaviour of the King. Buckingham was dissolute, talkative, and vain. His appearance had made his fortune, and he endeavoured to add to it by a splendour of attire, which later times would have allowed only in women. Jewels were displayed in his ears, and precious stones served as buttons for his doublet. It was affirmed that on his journey to France, which preceded the marriage of the King, he had taken with him about thirty different suits, each more costly than the last. It was for him as much an affair of ambition as of sensual pleasure to make an impression upon women, and to achieve what are called conquests in the highest circles. He revelled

in the enjoyment of successes in society. Moments of lassitude followed, when those who had to speak with him on business found him extended upon his couch, without giving them a sign of interest or attention, especially when their proposals were not altogether to his mind. Immediately afterwards however he would pass from this state to one of the most highly-strained activity, for which he by no means wanted ability: he then knew neither rest nor weariness. He was spurred on most of all by the necessity of making head alternately against such powerful and active rivals as the two ministers who at that time conducted the affairs of France and Spain. He was bound to Charles I by a common interest in one or two of those employments which fill up daily life, for instance by fondness for art and art collections, but principally by the companionship into which they had been thrown, first in the cabinet of James I, who weighed his conclusions by their assistance, and afterwards in their journey to Spain. The Spaniards, who were accustomed to treat persons of the highest rank with respect and reverence, were greatly scandalised to see how entirely Buckingham indulged his own humours in the presence of the Prince. He allowed himself to use playful nicknames, such as might have been often applied in the hunting-seats of James or in letters to him, but which at other times appeared very much out of place. He remained sitting when the Prince was standing: in his presence he had indeed the audacity to consult his ease by stretching his legs


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